Braised Hard-Boiled Eggs

Huevos haminados

About the Recipe

Huevos haminados, braised hard-boiled eggs, are one of the most ancient and characteristic foods in the medieval Judeo-Spanish repertoire.
In a typical Sephardic kitchen, discarded red and brown onion skins are always saved and stored ready to make these beautiful eggs.
Although the recipe is straightforward, the result is quite spectacular. Eggs in their shells are slowly braised on a bed of onion skins, in a water, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and ground coffee bath, which impacts a unique nutty flavour.
The porous eggshells become tinged with distinctive rich shades of golden brown, russet and maroon. Do not worry if the shells crack when simmering as the egg whites can become marbled with patterns in similar colours, encasing creamy yolks. Huevos haminados are served alongside savoury pies, gratins and fritters and at the Sabbath brunch. They also feature throughout Passover.

Ingredients

red or brown dried outer skins from 10 onions (about 4 cups)

8 eggs in their shell, at room temperature water to cover 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 tbsp ground Turkish coffee (optional)

1 tbsp red vinegar 1 tsp sea salt 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For sprinkling: sea salt and freshly ground black pepper or cumin

Preparation

Arrange the onion skins to line the base of a large, deep stainless steel pan. Cradle the eggs on top of the onion skins in a single layer and pour over enough cold water to cover the eggs by 7.5cm (3in). Add the oil, coffee (if using), vinegar and salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a slow boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for at least six hours making sure they are completely covered and add more water when necessary.

Scoop out the eggs with a slotted spoon and run them under cold water until they are just cool enough to handle. Roll the eggs to crack the shells and then slip off the shells.

Cut the eggs in half and sprinkle with salt and pepper or cumin. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Stella’s Hint: * The hard-boiled eggs can be refrigerated in their shells with the cooking liquid for up to a day. Before serving return to room temperature first and then bring the cooking liquid to a slow boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.